by: Adun Toridas, OnRPG Mobile Guru
Vendetta Online is a multiplatform space combat MMO made by the four person team from Guild Software Inc. The game puts you in the pilot seat on one of the many ships within this online world as a representative of one of the various nations.
VO’s gameplay is simple and straightforward. As one of the many pilots in your chosen nation. You will be put in various dog fights, going against players and NPCs alike. The game also has a customization feature where you can update/upgrade your ship from the clunky starter ship you begin with to one of the better more visually intimidating fighters in game.
Depending on which platform you are using, the controls are intuitive and easy to get used to. For the PC you have the combination keyboard + mouse controls while for the mobile platforms (ios, android) you rely on the usual touch based controls which can be edited to suit your preferred control scheme.
Player progress happens as you accomplish missions/quests and improve your ship through in-game purchases. Also since the game is subscription based (with trial versions from some platforms) so everything boils down to what you can afford with your in-game money.
Guild Software Inc. tags VO’s real time twitch combat and non-optional PvP as the game’s two fundamental hallmarks and with good reason. You don’t have the luxury of having an “attack free” start from the game unlike other MMOs. Once you get out of the game’s tutorial stage, you are immediately pushed to a world where everyone is open season for both AI-controlled and human controlled ships.
Whenever you are put into a combat situation, the game does provide you with some help in the form of AI assisted flight and aiming system. Just like in space battles you get to read or watch, you can have your AI help you lock on and fire at enemy targets while you pilot the ship or vice versa where the ship’s flight assist helps you pilot while you concentrate on attacking.
There is the option of going fully manual on both the weapon and flight systems, but it would take a lot of practice to be able to be operate the full combat system efficiently without assists.
Vendetta Online is one good example of a game that’s going to rely on your tactical thinking rather than on what equipment you have. While the game’s level system is a good measure to categorize players, that doesn’t reflect on the player’s skill and tactical prowess in combat. The game banks on not just the ship itself but rather on the player’s piloting capability as well.
With that said, the game may be a tough pill to swallow for players who got used to being coddled in the first few levels of any MMOG. The game is merciless and you’d often see yourself frustratingly dying just because you weren’t good enough as a pilot.
Aesthetics, et. al
Visually, I’m torn on how I’m looking into the game. You have the environments being colorful enough with enough space debris (in the form of asteroids and what not) and you have your ship, that even with the aesthetic modifications, would more often than not look like a shoebox flying in space. It’s here where you’d realize that the game is in fact being developed by a team of four people.
However, even with the manpower limitation, the game is constantly being developed. The downside of this though is that there will be moments that the game will feel like you’re inside a dark and dreary place, but then again that’s space for you.
I’d have to point out that while the game does play along with the faction system, the choice isn’t as meaningful as the game implies. What it does however is lock you out on certain areas of the game that is controlled by the opposing faction and that’s practically it.
For what it’s worth, VO is a game that has a lot of potential. As long as the developers continue on with their constant game updates the game would eventually reach that point that the subscription rates would be worth it.
The problem with that however is the long lay-over of what it is to what it can be. Granted, the game doesn’t charge much for subscribers. The “lite” subscription charges you $1 per month, while the “premium” subscription’s worth $9.99 (which can be cheaper as you buy longer subscription times). But will you have the patience to wait for that? VO does offer a good combat system in place, but the game lacks in a lot of features that free space themed games provide.
It is on the promise that the game will be better that you’re betting your money on when investing in Vendetta Online. But the way I see it, the game has impressed me enough to put my money in for the time being.